The conference included an exhibit hall filled with all matter of services for summer camps, from insurance to inflatable slides, to food service, to t-shirts, to sports, to medical services and supplies, and even portable docks for your lakeside camp. Companies have developed and succeeded for decades aimed at one primary, and very regional industry.
I couldn't help but think of how many trade shows are held around the country and the world that service businesses and industries that are largely unknown, unless you have a direct interest. We hear about some in the news occasionally - electronics, toys, books, guns - but so many remain unreported outside of industry publications. How many conferences are held each year that the "outside" world ignores, but hold a critical role in a particular industry?
At the conference, I met the owner of the day camp that I attended as a little boy - and that his father had founded fifty years before. From my western perspective, it seems almost inconceivable that a summer camp could be a viable business, but, like so much else, our culture is entirely removed from the summer camp tradition. Or, perhaps, we're just one big never-ending summer camp!